I did make an unrealistic promise to myself when I started writing again. I promised my bad self that I wouldn’t make this a mommy blog. I find myself unable to keep that promise so I can only say that I will limit the mommy jabber as best as possible.
Early this morning, my FecesBook feed was filled with comments about a little girl named Skylar who lives in my old stomping grounds. Within less than a day, the little girl went from playing outside to being abducted and murdered. As a rule, I would find this incredibly upsetting. Being a parent only magnifies the horror and pain.
One of the more peculiar aspects of parenting that I have found is how dramatically your frame of reference is altered and how much more profoundly you feel things. It’s as if the little baby takes all of your ambivalence with him/her when he/she leaves the womb. You’re left with nothing but a bundle of raw nerves and feelings.
I have always been an extreme worrier – so much so that I end up physically ill. It has been said that I’m Worst Case Scenario girl. I will envision the absolute worst outcome of any situation and plan backwards to prevent it from happening. It’s a great talent and wonderful ability, if you’re my employer. It’s tedious and exhausting if you have to live with me.
My propensity for constant worrying has been changed since Milkface was born. There are certain things that I can flippantly dismiss with the wave of a hand – things which I would agonize over before Milky. Then there are new issues which are so considerably troubling that I become paralyzed with fear.
I could very well say the same about sadness. That which would reduce me to tears in my previous life seems mostly irrelevant. Show me a child that has been mistreated, a parent who is grieving or the impact of illness on a family and I’m a blubbering, non-functioning mess. Outside of the terrible two-tantrum, watching my own child cry is something I cannot bear. I consider myself very fortunate that our experiences, thus far, have been easily solved by a snuggle, hug and a kiss. Let’s hope it stays that way.
On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, parenting has brought me joy unlike anything I have ever experienced. There is no better sound in the world than the genuine belly laugh of a pleased toddler. No psychotropic medication can elevate your spirits quite like the smile of a child. Nothing makes you feel as if your troubles have melted away quite like a hug and drooly kiss.
For someone who has spent the past eleven or so years carefully analyzing every emotion, every response – the dramatic shift in outlook is mindboggling. I had long thought that I was hypersensitive. I had long tried to manage that. Now that I’m a parent, I realize it’s all go-with-the-flow. If you’re blessed with a child, the intensity of feelings defies description. You shift from pessimist to optimist at the drop of a hat. You fear things you previously thought impossible. You fall in love a million times a day.